Please help me....EMERGENCY!!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-29-2003
Please help me....EMERGENCY!!!!
16
Wed, 10-29-2003 - 3:05pm
I'm new to this board and I really need help NOW! My 16-year-old daughter lost her virginity at 15. Ever since then she's lied about a lot of things. Needless to say, we don't trust her at all. We homeschooled her for a year to get her away from her low-life boyfriend. It worked. But now that she's back at school, she's rekindled a relationship with him. Not only that but they are having sex again. I know because I monitor her internet activity. I am so hurt and disappointed.

But the biggest thing I'm facing is telling my husband. He knew about her sexual activity before. At that time he became very angry and out of control. If he finds out she's having sex with him again, I don't know what he will do. He's not abusive, I'm just concerned how he will handle it. My daughter is incredibly sensitive and cries about the smallest things. She and Dad are already so angry at each other, they rarely speak. If I drop this on him, I don't know if their relationship will deteriorate beyond repair. My daughter has talked of suicide and I feel guilty telling my husband because it could push her over the edge. But I feel he should know. I feel like I have to choose between my daughter's and my husband's emotional devastation.

Please advise if I should tell my husband or not. How do I handle this on my own? I'm caught between my daughter having a nervous breakdown and being honest with my husband. Please help me now! Thanks.

Pages

Avatar for arwen12
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2003
Wed, 10-29-2003 - 3:29pm
Tough choice. I think you'll need to talk to you daughter - I think this comes first.

Make sure she is on birth control, etc.

If she is having sex, then the thing to do first is to make sure she is being smart about it. Make sure she isn't risking a baby or STD on top of a questionable relationship. The questionable relationship with this guy has short term implications. A baby or STD is for life.

Once you know that, then work on directing her toward why she is in this relationship and why she feels that having a sexual relationship at this age is a smart idea. Don't be belittling or confrontational. Be straight.

Of course, you'll need to talk to your husband - but if you have to make a choice, put that one second. And, you may want to bring him to a counselor with you and drop the bomb there. I'm not sure if this is a good idea, but better he explode there with a counselor than in front of your daughter.

He NEEDS to make sure that he handles the situation right with your daughter.

This is a MUST. His anger could drive her away and make her more rebellious, more into this guy, and potentially drive her into other life threatening decisions. Your husband (and you) needs to make sure that he manages the situation, educates, teaches - not punish. This will only force her into a situation based on wrong criteria (i.e. getting back at Mom and Dad, being a rebel as opposed to being in a relationship for healthy reasons)

I would also try my hardest to get the whole family in counseling as soon as possible.

You might also try school counselors as well.

Good luck - Prayers are with you.


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-07-2003
Wed, 10-29-2003 - 3:46pm
I had a somewhat similar experience. My middle daughter was out of control with drugs and sex. I knew that it was only a matter of time before something happened. I also had her live journal account and I checked it daily and got the heads up on alot of things. I really never bothered my husband with the problems with our kids. He works long hours and usually 6 days out of the week. I felt that I was going to have a nervous breakdown at any time because I was keeping everything inside. Well my daughter helped us she OD'd on over the counter drugs. Luckily she came out of it fine but we were told that she had to go to a theripist. Going to the theripist was a nightmare! The only good that came out of it was we learned how to communicate with each other. She has been drug free for about 8 months now and even through I don't trust her yet I'm learning to love her all over again. Besides the theripist we grounded her. She was not happy but we said that she could go on the internet and have friends over to our house. She had to let us know at least a day in advance who was coming over. We told her that she has rules to follow and while she is living at home she must follow them. We are holding our breathe because she turns 18 in November. She is happy and loving now and my husband and I are really talking about everything. I don't keep anything bottled up inside and my stress had gone way down. I know I can't keep her from seeing the people that got her into trouble, but I talk to her constantly and our relationshil has gotten better. Good luck to you I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 10-29-2003 - 4:18pm
Well, welcome to the board, gmassard.

Does your dh monitor her internet activity or does he leave that up to you to do and to report to him anything you know?

Here's the situation as I see it. You are dealing with a 16 year old girl who, by your statement, experienced no real change (just a temporary one) towards the guy you and her dad spent a year homeschooling her to keep her away from. Second, she is high strung and given to emotional decisions and actions. She also knows, from past experience, how her dad is likely to respond if he learns she has rekindled sexual activity with this same boy and has made a choice in spite of knowing that. What does that tell you? That what's happened so far isn't working.

Second, you have no control over this aspect of your dd's life. Nor do you have control over your dh's CHOICES to decide how he will respond to any given situation. So that leaves you with the question of what is more important right now? Over what do you have control? You have control over what you do with information you got while monitoring her internet activity. The problem with that kind of software is that you HAVE to be prepared for whatEVER you might find out. I have a policy: don't ask me a question unless you want the answer. Which applies to monitoring as well. Ask yourself the following kinds of questions: WHY do you tnink your dh should know? Because if the situation were reversed, YOU would expect to know? - if that's the case, it's not relevant because you are not your dh and you do not react like he does. I somehow don't think it's so much because if he finds out you knew and didn't tell him, he'd be more angry because the way you worded your post sounds like telling him is a choice you have and that this is just something that you 'feel he should know'.

Choices you make that are coming from being stuck between a rock and a hard place have to be based on what you believe is best for *everyone* - in the moment, starting with the one who you are most *responsible* for. You cannot do more than that. First, your daughter is under your responsibility - her well being included. Your husband is not. Before I go further here, I'll share something with you that my now 19 yo dd and I went through together when she was 14.5 till she was 16.5. She'd discovered her dad was racist and was angry like you wouldn't believe, and horrified. She proceeded to silently fill her life up with nearly 100% of the race he had spoken most against over the next 2 years. He came in one day while one of the guys, M, was here and he reacted so ugly that I had to spend 2 hrs in the car after talking to her to calm her down. *I* was as close to terrified of his temper, ESP regarding this issue, as I could be. Yet - over the following 2 years, I supported her decision to stand for what she thought was right even if it meant going against something her dad believed strongly was wrong. I told her if he ever asked directly, I wasn't lying and she was not going to either. She ended up dating "M" for 10 months. It was the worst 10 months of my life. I used to live on tenterhooks wondering if he'd call when M was here (we are separated) or he'd hear from someone else about M. I finally told her that standing up for what she thought was right couldn't be done secretly - if you're standing for something, STAND for it. She went out with her dad and told him herself finally. She said afterwards that 'perhaps I shouldn't have done it while he was driving mom; you know how his knuckles can turn white if he's holding something really hard? And there was a vein I could see in his temple..." But in the end, his response was a very terse statement that this was perhaps something better left without him getting involved. I know he could not have handled it for a long time, but she ended up breaking up with M 3 weeks after telling him, on her own accord. Now - I definitely knew he'd LOSE it if he knew what was happening - and I was equally sure his rage would be directed at *me* over her as he'd blame me for teaching her 'wrongly' (ie not to be racist). And no, I did NOT feel obligated to tell him myself, as part of raising our kids is teaching them to take responsibility for decisions that they make. After 9 months of dating this kid, I DID finally tell her she HAD to tell her dad she was dating him. I know she was not engaging in sex with him, but even if she had been, I would NEVER have expected her to have to tell her dad - or me, for that matter - that she was. And part of taking responsibility is dealing with things in truth, with respect for oneself and others, and learning how to do these steps in VERY difficult situations is a step by step process. Do not expect your teen to be able to do Everything all at once, esp if she has a parent she already can guarantee is NOT going to handle the news that she's even seeing the boy again. Guide her, step by step through the process. Part of the reason your dd is not truthful likely stems in great part to the fact that she knows if she is truthful she is going to have hell to pay. That's a decision your HUSBAND has made and put into motion with his dd.

Remember this too: your dd is not responsible for how her father responds. YOU are also not responsible for how he responds. I knew that was the same with my ex and so I was (a) not putting my dd into a position that she could not handle before she could and (b) not handing over to my ex a situation I knew he could not handle in the moment either. If he had ever asked if I'd known before, I'd have said yes. ANd if he'd asked why I hadn't told him, I'd have told him the truth: she, nor I, could handle his rage; two, that he had wittingly or unwittingly set this situation up by making her feel she had to prove something (i.e. that SHE was not racist & he was wrong) by broadcasting his ideology; and three, that I wasn't risking putting her in a position where telling him would have made her later decide lying was the better choice. When the time came and enough time had gone by with M in her life, I then sent her to a public place to talk with her father - when SHE was strong enough to handle things. And I prayed her through that meeting. Fervently.

I think I would sit her down and talk to her as calmly as I could and tell her you are aware that she has re-engaged in a sexual relationship with this boy. You don't have to tell her *how* you know; you simply state it as a fact. Ask her why she thinks he's worth risking her dad's meltdown and possible rupture of her relationship with her father. At some point, explain to her that this is her choice but that she will have to take responsibility for her actions eventually and in the interim, she canNOT lie. LISTEN to her. Make sure she is protected. She either has real feelings for this kid or she's feeling very rebellious against what sounds like an extreme parent who thinks he has more control over his dd than he does, or should have. Whatever her reason, the fact remains that the relationship with your dd is undergoing a change no matter what you do - and both your dh and you need to see that, accept it, find new ways to work with it or you will both end up alienating her. It's very regrettable that she has chosen to have sex at such a young age and to go back to a relationship you obviously despise. But it's not the end of the world and it's not worth burning bridges over either. Wait for awhile before you discuss anything about this with him. Especially wait until you've talked to your dd - really *talked* - and listened, not just talked *at*. If you feel as the father feels, you won't have the chance to try to 'present' your dd to him as she *is*, separate from what the two of you *want* her to be. As an individual who IS going to make mistakes along the way and who WILL do things you don't like but who SHOULD still have her parents' love and support as she makes those mistakes. Your situation is not the same as mine was, but some of the principles, I believe, are applicable. Don't make hasty decisions based on panic or how you *feel*. Wait until you feel you have a better handle on what is going on with your dd, who *she* is, and what this is all about and when YOU feel more prepared, and have more to go on, you will have more to work with in terms of *how* to deal with/present this to your husband.

Good luck, and I hope things will work out. Sometimes people will surprise you in ways you least expect it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 10-29-2003 - 6:26pm
I say be honest with your husband. Wouldnt you want him to be with you???? Let me kinda give you an "if" sceranio....

Lets say your daughter and the lowlife boyfriend runs away from home.....would you want hubby to find out then that they had re-kindled??? and taht you knew it at the same time.

As a single parent, I tell you there are days when I pray to GOD that I had a mate to share my children expereinces with...both the good and the bad.

I know you mentioned your daughter threatening sucide and crying easily.....do u think she is doing this to get the attention off her and her actions?

Dee Dee

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-29-2003
Thu, 10-30-2003 - 6:43am
Thanks to all who took the time to offer advice. I'm still confused though because some people say to tell my H and others say not. I could live without telling him, but like the last poster said, "What if my daughter runs away with the boyfriend and I didn't tell my H that they were together again?" My husband would be furious because I kept it from him. I am contemplating putting a restraining order on the boyfriend. But I'll have to tell my H because the police will be involved. I feel like I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't.

The boyfriend has a history of mistreating my daughter, emotionally and sexually. He got arrested for swinging a gun around in our local grocery store. He is a dangerous and unstable person. My H knows all about him. So, how can I NOT tell him they're back together? If something goes drastically wrong, it'll be all my fault. My H will say I could have prevented the event by confiding in him. Then I'll have to live with the guilt inside myself, the anger of my H, and the devastating consequences of my daughter's actions.

Avatar for heartsandroses2002
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 10-30-2003 - 8:45am
I think you should tell your H. Not because 'if he finds out later', but because you will be needing to lean on each other so you can face your dd TOGETHER, you know, as a united front. Before your H goes off the deep end and totally freaks out on your dd, the two of you should talk openly about this and decide how you will handle it together. Stress the importance of working as a team with your H, because if you both take a different point of view, your dd will pick up on it and drive a wedge between the two of you.

I'd also line up a family counselor - It's too bad that the other poster had such a bad experience with her counselor, but I can honestly say that our family has benefitted greatly from counseling at various times. We had to go to a few before we found the one we felt most comfortable with and we've consulted her a few times over the past 5 years and she's been very helpful on all occasions. It's difficult to force your dd to get into counseling, but if at least you and your H go, it will help give you strength and ideas and communicate better about dd. I am interested to understand better why your dd is so drawn to such a loser. Regarding the sexual relationship. If your dd is consenting to sex with this boy, the best thing you could do is make sure that she is protected against pregancy and STD's - I know many parents feel that this is the same as giving consent to your dd to have sex, but the reality is that if she's doing it already, chances are slim that she will suddenly stop - and you DON'T want her getting pregnant by this boy, do you? Get her to a DR and make sure the DR discusses these issues with her.

Hugs and good luck.

ps: there's also a webpage that has advice for difficult children - www.toughlove.org

It's not my thing, but I've heard some success stories.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-29-2003
Thu, 10-30-2003 - 1:52pm
1) Do not go to a website for counseling.

2) Grow up and face the music - you have more than you can handle and you need to get your family to professional counseling.

Turn off the computer and get thee to : speak to school, church and other souorces for counselling.
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Thu, 10-30-2003 - 9:15pm
IMO the first thing to do is to prioritize your problems: your dd's safety and well being, your dh's right-to-know, your personal level of stress from being the person in the middle, etc based on your determination of importance.

If it was me--I would first talk to dd to see if she will tell why she is back with this boy. Also to make sure that she is protected against pregnancy and STDs.

I think that your dh needs to know but I might postpone telling him a bit. First I would suggest talking to him about how and why he responds as he does. Is "angry and out of control" the behavior he wants to model for his dd? What is he teaching her? If you still sense that he will "go ballistic" then maybe he shouldn't know until he has more control over HIS actions and emotions.

I agree with others that counselling is called for in your situation. Your dd being so extremely sensitive and possibly suicidal sounds outside the range of normal teen girl behavior. And she could benefit from an impartial third party helping her understand her choices--why she wants to be with a bf that she knows to be dangerous, why she wants to do things that will upset her parents, etc. For this she will need her own counselling sessions. You and your husband ought to talk with someone about what teen behavior is within your realm of control and how to go about exerting appropriate control. And it sounds like he needs help in managing his anger. IMO it is a problem when a wife feels that she can't tell her dh things because she's wary of his response so you could benefit from your own sessions. Then sessions with all of you together. This doesn't need to go on for years; sometimes just a few months can make a huge difference.

It is going to be hard to get a consensus from a message board as to how to proceed because we all have differing comfort zones and styles of parenting. Just pick and choose from the suggestions that sound right to YOU and go with your gut. Good luck, I hope that things work out well. come back and let us know how you are doing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-29-2003
Fri, 10-31-2003 - 5:23am
To everyone: Thanks for your responses and giving me courage to move out of my comfort zone. Of one point everyone is right, and that is that we need counseling. I'm going to make some calls today to arrange the sessions. I will talk to my daughter and make sure she is protected from unwanted pregnancy and disease. And finally, I'll let you all know her progress. Thanks for your support.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-19-2003
Fri, 10-31-2003 - 8:15am
I am very frightened for your daughter, please get help for her. You state that the boy has sexually mistreated her, yet you say you will make sure she is protected from disease and pregnancy. How about no more sex! No more instant messaging with him! No more contact with him at all! He mistreats her, she should not be allowed to be near him!

I have a 15 year old daughter myself, she has not even been on a date yet. We know where she is and who she is with at all times. We try to impress upon her that she has a bright future, and she needs to stay away from activities that can ruin it.

I am not trying to be mean, I am very scared for your daughter. Please get help for her, she is what matters most in this situation.

Pages